On August 21st 2019, a team from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPDA) Appeals Tribunal appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Finance chaired by Hon. Musasizi Henry. The members from the tribunal presented their proposed amendments in the PPDA Amendment bill 2019. Currently, there is no regulatory body in Uganda to register procurement professionals. This implies that graduates with procurement qualifications from institutions of learning can operate without regulations from a formal institution. The Tribunal proposed that there should be a regulatory body for the profession. Some of the professions regulated in Uganda include; accounting which is regulated by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda, law which is regulated by Uganda Law Council, among others.
Another proposal by the Tribunal was that the Internal Auditor in the Office the PPDA should report directly to the Board but not to the Executive Director. It was argued that this is meant to prevent any interference by the management with the audit. The committee members questioned whether this will not undermine the reporting system in the management structure since it is about internal audit, not external audit, however, the chairperson informed the team that the proposal was going to be looked into by the committee when considering the bill.
Other key proposals included amending Clause 25 of the PPDA Act to prevent entities from accepting unsolicited bids. “If there is no call for bids, no bidder should be accepted,” the team from PPDA Appeals Tribunal noted. Currently under the PPDA Act, a potential bidder can submit a proposal to a Ministry or government department even when there is no advert calling for bids. It was discussed that unsolicited bills compromise the procurement processes. Also, that only bidders with the least price offers should be considered when awarding contracts. The tribunal questioned why the Act provides for rejecting a bidder offering the least price yet only qualified bidders are selected from the pool of applicants. In their proposal, they want only the bidders with the least price offers to be granted contracts from the selected potential bidders.
The PPDA amendment bill is still before the Committee of Finance of Parliament and after consideration, a report of the committee shall be tabled in the House for debate.